Kallio and Redding raring to go in Qatar!
The Marc VDS Racing Team's Mika Kallio and Scott Redding head to the Middle East looking for a strong start to the season, as the 2012 Moto2 World Championship gets underway this weekend at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar.
Kallio goes into the season opener in a confident mood, after showing strongly during preseason testing. The Finnish rider worked methodically during the winter to adapt to the Kalex Moto2 machine, which he will campaign for this first time this season. Kallio's hard work paid dividends in Jerez last month, with the Marc VDS rider posting the fourth fastest time during the final Moto2 test.
Redding also heads into the new season with renewed confidence. The 19-year-old British rider struggled with the 2011 Suter chassis last year, but he has no such issues with the Kalex Moto2 machine he'll race this season. Redding topped the timesheets regularly during preseason testing and he travels to Qatar determined to carry this momentum into the first race of the new season.
The Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar is unique in that it is the only race on the GP calendar to be held at night. The 5.380km / 3.434 mile Losail track is illuminated by 3,600 light fixtures burning a massive 5.4 million watts of power, creating enough light to cover an area equivalent to 70 football pitches.
Scott Redding #45:
“I've been thinking about Qatar since the Valencia race last year! Preseason testing went well, but testing isn't racing, and I can't wait to get back out there and battling this weekend. I want to start the season on a high, which for me would be a top five or top six finish this weekend. Last year we had a DNF in the first race, which did us no favours, and we can't afford the same this time around. In the past I've gone flat out from the first second of the first session, but this year I'll be taking it a bit easier, building up the speed in practice so that we're fast when it counts; in qualifying. Saying that, the first session can't come quick enough for me now. I love riding this bike!”
Mika Kallio #36:
“A cool, calm and collected approach, just as we did in testing, is the key to securing a podium finish this weekend. And that is my only goal in Qatar; to start this season as I ended the last, with another top three finish. We went well in testing, but the Qatar circuit is very different in character to Jerez. There is also less grip available because of the sand that blows onto the track. But I am quite confident that we can find a good set-up on the bike, as it seems to work well wherever we go. I'm looking forward to the first race and getting my season off to a good start.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“Both Mika and Scott have showed strongly during preseason testing, but now we need to translate this into race results, which we know from past experience isn't always so easy. However, we are quietly confident about the season ahead, and we are keen to get it started with two strong results in Qatar. In Mika and Scott we have two riders who know exactly what it takes to finish on the podium in Moto2 and, although our target for this first weekend is more modest, I know that both will have thoughts of a top three finish at the back of their minds. The start of a new season is always something of a step into the unknown, but we've done the work over the winter and I am confident that we have never been better prepared for the first race.”